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« Solid rock | Main | More violence and intimidation from greens »

Patience of Barton Moss residents reaches limits

In the email today comes a note from the Barton Moss Community Liaison Group describing its first meeting. Its seems that many residents of the area are mightily fed up, and chiefly with the environmentalist "saviours":

The CLG heard from people whose businesses are being disrupted, with customers, suppliers, staff and family life being affected, with the inevitable consequences of lost orders, cancelled or late deliveries, loss of productivity and employees unable to arrive to work on time to earn their living.

Several residents on Barton Moss Road and nearby feel like prisoners in their own homes, with regular iGas convoys of HGV's moving back and forth almost every day and some protesters disrupting residents and verbally abusing them or their customers for simply wanting to go about their daily lives. There has been damage to private cars and to company vehicles from having to manoeuvre past obstacles, protesters, the protest camp itself and police vehicles parked along hedgerows. There were other accounts given of threatening behaviour and targeted disruption of every-day business activities by some of those people who say they are peaceful protesters, protesting in our communities name and with our blessing.

The CLG represented by its Chairman, Chris Williams, thinks that (with the escalation of the protest, and the subsequent impact it is having on the Barton Moss community as a whole, far outside of iGas) we need to ask the protesters to show more consideration to their neighbours or leave the neighbourhood.

I wonder how the greens are going to talk their way out of this one.

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Reader Comments (42)

They won't even try - they'll just ignore it and carry on.

This weekend they are bussing in more thugs with cheap travel offers from as far away as Southern England, West Wales & Scotland .

They'll still pretend to the media that they're "local residents" though.

It's basically just an excuse for bored & alienated adolescents (of all ages) to introduce some excitement into their dismal lives.

Jan 25, 2014 at 9:10 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Exactly the same as happened in Balcombe. You would have thought communities would've learnt that the protesters never represent local views, only their own anti capitalist anti corportist anti democracy views. Any locals involved are just useful idiots to the Marxist Occupy movement.

Jan 25, 2014 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

Its entirely intentional.

The drilling, fracking and extraction will cause minimal disruption locally - we know this from the 2000+ onshore oil & gas wells already operating.

95% of the disruption will come from the protesters activities. They do it because they know that in future, communities will try to disallow planning for drilling in their area not because of the problems due to the drilling, which are minor, but to avoid the inevitable protests which are making locals lives hell.

I believe it is intentional by the protesters - their aim is not to stop the drilling, but to make life unbearable for the locals.

Jan 25, 2014 at 9:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterSoarer

Soarer you are such a blatant IGas troll. 2000+ onshore wells operating do me a favour theyre are thousands of people suffering from this. You only think of £££ dont you

Jan 25, 2014 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterLeah

I'm guessing leah is a protestor.

The greens don't care. The hypocritical end justifies the hypocritical means.

Jan 25, 2014 at 9:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterOtter

Illiterate, offensive and posting right here. Yes, Leah, you're helping to make the lives of thousands of people miserable. Please show them some human decency and leave them alone.

Jan 25, 2014 at 9:34 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

Please could commenters desist from name-calling.

Jan 25, 2014 at 9:35 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill


Allow me to educate you:

History of Onshore Oil and Gas in the UK
The onshore gas and oil industry has been around for a very long time. The first indigenous supply came from the production of oil from shale in 1851 in the Midland Valley of Scotland reaching a peak of 6,000 barrels of oil per day. Wells drilled in 1895 at Heathfield in Sussex, to provide water for a hotel and railway station, also encountered gas becoming the first natural gas well in the UK, with production of 1000 cubic feet per day. Today there have been some 2000 wells drilled in the UK, producing over 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. 10% of existing wells have been hydraulically fractured in the UK with the first some 50 years ago.

Now, perhaps you would like to tell us who those thousands of people are, and what are they suffering? Perhaps you mean the people who live around Poole Harbour, with lots of wells in the area. They certainly suffer - the environment has been so degraded (not!) that they suffer amongst the highest house prices in the UK

Jan 25, 2014 at 9:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterSoarer

[Snip - namecalling]

Jan 25, 2014 at 9:47 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

[Snip - namecalling]

Jan 25, 2014 at 9:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBiddy

... Did someone call for me?

Jan 25, 2014 at 10:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterNameCalling

Every chance you get, do not kill a human before you extract their brain stem. Extract their brain stem first as it will make the DNA worth more (25 instead of 10). The easiest humans to do this to are the scientists in the level with glowing cows. For some reason, if the person that is important to you dies (the person you need to abduct), extract their brain stem before you return to the Mothership -- the DNA is usually worth more. Additionally, it is rare to find humans with brain stems that are worth 50 or 100 DNA. Most humans have brain stems that are only worth 10 or 25 DNA. If you walk around Union Town, there will be humans with signs on them reading, "REPENT THE END IS NEAR". Those humans will have a brain stem worth 50 DNA ;-)

Jan 25, 2014 at 10:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterIbrahim


Is this strategy the same one adopted with the badger culls? (Which were pilloried as having failed to reach their goals, but whose failure was in part I think due precisely to the obstruction by protestors rather than faulty methods)

A resident (really!) of the Forest of Dean

Jan 25, 2014 at 10:58 PM | Unregistered Commentersab

When you watch the action of the protesters on their "live feed" on bambuser you realise that they are not protesting, they are being extremely intimidating as they delay workers going home to their loved ones. They claim that iGas are terrorists, but who is the one doing the terrorising? Occupy and their useful idiots. iGas will be providing a benefit to society with gas to keep everyone's central heating going. All Occupy do is cost society. Renewables and saving the planet are just marketing gimmicks to persuade the naive that their cause is just and the ends justify the means.

Jan 25, 2014 at 11:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSadButMadLad

The oil companies need to start drilling at 20+ plus sites at the same time, that will thin them out!

Jan 25, 2014 at 11:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn H

While I agree that allot of the people protesting are young and have shit dismal lives I respect the fact they are fighting the good fight and trying to crawl out of the cesspit of a society we live in. I don't think that there has been any multi well high volume slick water hydraulic fracturing in the UK apart from blackpool. Hang in there residence my heart goes put to you but the protesters are not the enemy.

Jan 25, 2014 at 11:29 PM | Unregistered Commentermax

You have to wonder what forms of energy the 'Occupiers' use when they want to keep warm or travel somewhere...

Jan 25, 2014 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

SWP goon squad out 'n about innit?

Balcombe proved it wasn't about enhanced hydrocarbon recovery by hydraulic water borehole treatment - this is political - political lowlifes and their naive fellow travelers/camp followers braying their received wisdom and getting in everybody's faces... It's bullying plain and simple and old gits everywhere are fond of saying "something should be done about it"

Given the supposedly diverse geographical origins of these idjits and this being a contrived/orchestrated confrontation if they break normal public codes of conduct and have their travel / subsistence paid for by Lush -then Lush should be hauled up for conspiracy to cause a Public Nuisance or any number of other public order offences.

I'm not comfortable with inept heavy handed policing which is all too common - but this lot are roundly taking the p****.

Where's the 'sleb crew and Ms. Lucas?

Jan 25, 2014 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered Commentermoonrakin

Max (Jan 25, 2014 at 11:29 PM):

…fighting the good fight...
For whom? The poor suffering from higher energy costs, thanks to the protestors?
…cesspit of a society we live in.
And who is an important factor of any society? “Society” is not some amorphous entity that exists to control individuals – “society” is the sum of the individuals; if there is a cesspit of society, then that cesspit is the creation of the individuals of that society.
…the protesters are not the enemy.
That argument would be more convincing if the protestors stopped acting as if they were the enemy of everyone else, particularly the residents (please, note the spelling).

Jan 26, 2014 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Just an observation

The coach fare from Edinburgh to Manchester is ~£33 one way

FoE Scotland are offering a day trip this Sunday for a "Frack Off" subsidised £5

And they have a nice page on what to bring ... doesn't mention soap - assume they all use (free) Lush products?

Jan 26, 2014 at 1:32 AM | Registered Commentertomo

"I believe it is intentional by the protesters - their aim is not to stop the drilling, but to make life unbearable for the locals." --Soarer

That's a terrorist tactic.

Jan 26, 2014 at 6:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

I can't understand why people would camp out in the winter to bully people and cause hassle to local residents . Seems like an extreme way of getting kicks ? Mm live in a tent during storms and freezing temperatures to cause locals distress and upset .

Jan 26, 2014 at 6:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrody

@ Grody

The protestors are obviously dedicated to their cause. That does not make them right. Suicide bombers are even more dedicated - and even more deluded.

Jan 26, 2014 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

I've said this before these "environmentalists" are professional agitators and "Benefits Street" thugs.
They should all be arrested and charged with Obstruction, Behaviour Likely to Cause a Breach of the Peace and anything else that the Police can think of.
Once they have received their derisory fine/community service order, or whatever pathetic sentence the Law now allows, they should be served with a Restraining Order to keep them well away from law-abiding people and business.

Jan 26, 2014 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitter&Twisted

Why do we not offer them an uninhabited island, where they may go and create their Nirvana, so demonstrating quite how right they are. St Kitt’s Kilda strikes me as the perfect choice.

Jan 26, 2014 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

We need some vile weather to send their soggy frozen a***s off to be warmed by hydrocarbon fuelled heat. Also why are they being transported by diesel driven bus, surely such concern could omly be transported by foot or bicycle? Hypocrites all!

Jan 26, 2014 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterLjh

The tactics remind me of those used by the ALF, who also used terror and intimidation as a legitimate tactic.

Jan 26, 2014 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

The tactics remind me of those used by the ALF
Hardly surprising, Sandy. At best they're kissing cousins or blood brothers and in some cases almost certainly the same people.
There's not a desperate demand for animal activism at the moment (anyway that's so 1990s!) but as somebody once said about another terrorist organisation "they haven't gone away, you know."

Jan 26, 2014 at 1:10 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I think this is a falsely fabricated email to gain attention against the protesters! If this is in fact a real letter and there has been some accidental damage to anyone's property i highly doubt it was intentional and as for your lives being disrupted!
complaining about protesters stopping fracking in your area.. if this goes ahead fully and with no one to stop it you have a massive shock coming to you with your futures! and don't think you can just move.. you won't get half of what you paid for your homes and no one will want to buy them anyways

Jan 26, 2014 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterfordy


'falsely fabricated'? The group chairman has his contact details on the message - maybe you should do your own research instead of sowing uncertainty and doubt - and I'm sure fear will be along soon as usual.

And as for property prices - are you suggesting that a wind power station is built instead? Even the green attack dog Bob Ward has been tweeting about how disastrous *they* are to homeowners today.

Jan 26, 2014 at 5:15 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor


Have any of you ever thought of setting up a "literacy tent"?

Jan 26, 2014 at 6:09 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose


I think purely in terms of £££s, as this is the only way to think. Looking at the case of the USA in economic costs and benefits

The costs
1. The minor local disruption in the USA
2. The small risk that the apocryphal stories of flaming taps and water contamination will be true.
3. The angst felt within groups of enviro-luvvies.
4. Losses made by many investors, as prices fell rapidly.

The benefits.
1. Huge economic benefits for many local communities.
2. Hundreds of thousands of jobs created, including in deprived industrial areas.
3. Billions of dollars wiped off domestic energy bills, reducing fuel poverty.
4. Reductions in total CO2 emissions, as gas replaces coal. Using Stern's estimate of the social cost of emissions at $85 per tonne of CO2 social cost, this will soon be running into trillions of dollars.

Of course, if you combine Nic Lewis's empirical estimates of climate sensitivity with Richard Tol's estimate that warming will be a net benefit to over 2 degrees of average temperature increase, then these reductions could be a small cost to humanity.

In the UK, offering "bribes" to local communities will slow down the process, meaning that only the larger, more profitable schemes are invested in. The protesters will ensure that there are additional costs of security. It will also ensure that only the most aggressive companies actually invest, giving them larger profits. The flow of gas will be much reduced and prices will remain high. Although protesters think of themselves as anti-capitalist, they are actually serving the interests of what they view it as - corporatism, serving the interests of the few at the expense of the many.

Jan 26, 2014 at 6:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicbeancounter

Re: Foxgoose

> Have any of you ever thought of setting up a "literacy tent"?

fordy don't need an literacy tent cos hes environmentally friendly and already picks up all his litter

Jan 26, 2014 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

The Benefits Street effect.

Jan 26, 2014 at 8:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

The BBC Points West locl news has just had an item on a group of protestors from Frack Free Somerset boarding a coach to join the protest at Barton Moss to try to stop this danerous practice.

Lucky old people of Barton Moss.

Was there no more interesting news in the West? The main item was flooding on the Levels - perhaps the protestors have all been flooded out, but somehow I doubt that, seeing as they were all boarding a bus in Bristol.

Jan 26, 2014 at 10:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy

The oxford road corridor geothermal project will most certainly require hydraulic fraccing to establish a heat exchanger deep beneath central manchester, as will the projects beneath Newcastle and Southampton, and as in the granite beneath the Eden project. No protest camps near these sites, as it will be green fraccing. As far as I can tell the Barton Moss drill is after coal bed methane (or it was last time I looked the the planning applications - they may have changed); coal bed methane extraction does not entail fraccing, but simple dewatering of the seams - the gas then flows out through the natural joints or cleats. Mine water from these seams is what filled the bridgewater canal for a hundred years.
So why is IGAS allowing this eco kabuki? - Igas has a very high share price for what it actually has in the way of proven producable reserves - this sort of publicity may be red meat for potential investors?. The whole thing is surreal - no fraccing occured or is planned for Balcombe either.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterarkleseizure

Interesting that since we started looking closely at these protests there has been an invasion of semi literate posters spouting alarmist catchphrases. As if we needed more evidence of the intellectual level of the protestors.

The effect of the modern education system where no one must ever tell the terminally stupid that they aren't altogether bright and this will be readily apparent to others if they don't keep their mouths shut.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterNW

"At this stage there is no proposal to carry out any well stimulation, including hydraulic fracturing."

"The primary objective of this well is to identify the resource potential, which includes coal bed methane (CBM), in the ground.

"Detailed studies of the local geology and various surveys suggest there may be potential energy reserves beneath the area, so we will be drilling a vertical well which is designed to log and take samples of rock. We are simply taking samples for analysis and will NOT be hydraulically fracturing (fracking)"

I am sure I have seen a planning document including a couple of long, horizontal drillings for coal bed methane.

An igas cbm project on Keele campus:
"I'm a member of Greenpeace and I like the fact that these plans are for energy efficiency. I'm very much in favour of them."
"the university hopes to become a showcase for green energy and sustainable living" by promoting IGAS drilling on campus.

Though I suspect the oxford road gothermal project may require stimulation, I cant find any evidence. It isnt mentioned in the planning document:
This document suggests it may not (p17):

Jan 27, 2014 at 8:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterarkleseizure

Re: arkleseizure

> Though I suspect the oxford road gothermal project may require stimulation, I cant find any evidence. It isnt mentioned in the planning document

If you look at the documents submitted to Manchester City Council Planning Department you will find this in the supplementary materials (my bold):

Following confirmation of acceptable geological and hydrogeological conditions, through a programme of hydraulic testing, the re-injection well would be installed using a similar approach.

A schematic diagram showing the preliminary proposed design specifications for the production well and re-injection well is shown in Drawing 5.

The permeable fault zones below Manchester have a regional north-west south-east trend.Both wells would be installed so that they deviate towards the north-west and south-east following the the plane of the fault structures. Drawing 6 shows an indicative trajectory for the production well, based on the specifications outlined above.

A well stimulation programme would then be carried out to induce porosity and hydraulic connectivity between the two boreholes.

If its gas or oil then its called "hydraulic fracturing" and if its geothermal its called "well stimulation".

Jan 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

After this morning's hysteria about radioactive waste water, I can't help wondering how this will be addressed in the various geothermal projects mentioned above, especially the Eden Project one amid all that Cornish granite.
After all, geothermal systems work by passing water through the rock continuously whereas the waste from oil and gas fracking is the one-time flowback plus the produced water carried out with the gas/oil. So, if it's an issue for the oil & gas operations, it must be more so for geothermal.
(As far as I can tell it is in fact a non-issue but the mention of "radiation" always gets the media flapping).

Jan 27, 2014 at 5:20 PM | Registered Commentermikeh

[Jan 27, 2014 at 2:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

If its gas or oil then its called "hydraulic fracturing" and if its geothermal its called "well stimulation".]

Absolutely! There is a lot of frac-ing going on in Germany, for example, but all references are to hydraulic stimulation.

By the way, frac-ing does not induce porosity, only permeability. The amount of increased space created by a fracture is infinitesimal; it is the connection between existing, open fractures that counts. Further:

A NW-SE natural fracture system is best connected by a NE-SW frac-trend. Frac's go sideways from the well-bore, and mostly vertically until they hit a soft boundary, when the energy is absorbed. However, it may be that the first natural fracture immediately sucks up all the energy of the induced frac, so the result is a connected but small volume bound by the natural fracture system. A wellbore trending across the natural fracture system here, i.e. NW-SE, encounters more natural fractures, but these now tend to receive the bulk of the induced frac energy, and so in-between blocks remain undrained. This leads to high productivity rates with high pressure loss rates and high declines. Once low, the production may go on forever, but at economically unprofitable rates.

Each geographic area has its own system of fractures both large and small, and differently expressed within the reservoir if the rock has its own changes in flexibility. What works is found out the hard way. If there is good flow into the big fractures already, you want lots of them, but if there is a water production problem, you can have water firing up the big fractures and dominating the pressure system, stopping the gas (or oil) from coming out. None of this you know until you try: modelling, like climate science but more immediately determined, is useful only in getting your act going.

Creating an effective frac-system is very difficult and lessons learned Here may not be applicable There. And some places it won't work at all.

One of the interesting aspects (professionally, that is) is the negative impact of what is routinely proudly exclaimed, the TOC or Total Organic Content. The TOC represents the material in the rock that, when "cooked", creates the oil or gas filling the original porosity and fractures. Some TOC is good, but lots is not necessary: it takes very little, a couple of percent, to overwhelm the available porosity in tight formations. There is always lots of TOC left in good horizons. However, too much, perhaps less than 5%, and you now you can have a serious problem: the TOC is a lubricant and, like clay particles, stops a frac/fracture from spreading. Now you have lots of gas/oil-in-place, but an unrelenting host rock. The stuff stays there.

Remember: ask not what God has given you as Gas-In-Place, ask what He has allowed to be recovered. whatever you do. More pertinently, perhaps, ask what He has allowed you to recover in the first 6 years of the well's life, for that is how He allows the Cuadrilla's of the world to get their investment back and determines what You, the Faithful Consumer pay for the product.

(Volume produced within first 6 years/Costs incurred within first 6 years = minimum cost to consumer. Then add profit, taxes, distribution, more taxes, monies to pay for replacement activities, more taxes. The reason we use roughly 6 years is the time-value of money and the short time we humans live. You don't want to tie up your resources too long, as you need to plow them back in somewhere else if you are going to pay for that house or car before your grandkids are using it.)

Jan 27, 2014 at 9:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterDoug Proctor


"So why is IGAS allowing this eco kabuki? - Igas has a very high share price for what it actually has in the way of proven producable reserves - this sort of publicity may be red meat for potential investors?. "

It's more the other way around. The protesters don't dare turn up at any of the proven, productive fracking sites because those employ loads of locals. There was one up in Lincolnshire recently that a friend of mine worked on where a few trouble-makers showed up. They soon found that the locals were, er, unwelcoming, shall we say. Unwelcoming with iron bars, so to speak.

Jan 29, 2014 at 3:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave

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